International Yoga Day, June 21, 2017, began in the early morning with over 700 nursing students taking a pledge to integrate yoga into their daily lives. The following suggestions on how to achieve this integration were: diaphragmatic breathing consciously and unconsciously, eating mindfully, maintaining sleep appropriately, exercising regularly, relaxing the mind and body, not gossiping, not harming others in thought, words, and actions, controlling anger, being truthful and loving, and continuing yoga practices regularly, i.e. nadhi shodhanam. The day progressed with a rangoli and card competition on yoga by MBBS students.
In the evening, a special Yoga Celebration was held in the nursing auditorium, beginning with lamp lighting and a Swami Rama video discussing the meaning of yoga. That was followed by presentations by Dr. Prakash Keshaviah on “yoga, a systematic and scientific process for personality transformation;” yoga research by Dr. Sunil Saini, and the importance of how yoga helps us to answer the question “who am I” in relation to the cosmos by Dr. V. Chauhan. This was depicted through a fantastic video that showed earth from millions of light years away.
The program concluded with a cultural program that included: (1) Children on campus going on a safari depicting yoga postures through animals; by their performance, they increase awareness why most of the postures are named after animals; (2) A skit on yoga awareness, where the children mentioned the benefits of yoga on body and mind; (3) Yoga expressed through dance by nursing students; (4) Hatha yoga demonstrations by MBBS and engineering college students; and (5) A unique mobile yoga app designed by engineering students that explained multiple dimensions of yoga, including postures, pranayama and their benefits and contraindications to help balance the mind and body.
Holistic refreshments were served as a prasad to end the evening. Approximately 250 students, parents, faculty, and friends comprised the audience.